Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 Explained - Penelope Decides She Wants a Husband…With Colin’s Help (2024)

Dear gentle reader, it’s Penelope Featherington’s time. After Eloise Bridgerton finds out that Pen is indeed Lady Whistledown, who would have expected the secret journalist to want to transform herself publicly? Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 sees Penelope wanting to take her life into her own hands during Marriage Market—the mission: land a husband while pining for Colin Bridgerton.

Francesca Bridgerton’s Return

There is a returning Bridgerton in town despite the family being busy in the last two seasons. Francesca, who has been “away,” arrives in the third season opener (Ruby Stokes was the original Francesca in Season 1 but did not appear in Season 2; Hannah Dodd plays the character in Season 3). She’s a great pianist and is debuting for the Wedding Season. Francesca’s addition to the story makes sense, considering that Eloise’s reputation was destroyed in Season 2 — a new Bridgerton lady needs to be in the spotlight.

In Episode 1, Queen Charlotte appears to be impressed by Francesca, but like Eloise, she struggles with the pressure of attention. Penelope understands her deeply, and the two form a bond, making the audience wonder if Eloise has been replaced.

Portia Featherington’s Financial Schemes

The Featheringtons have always struggled financially since the beginning. Securing a future seems to be their only theme in the series. Episode 1 reveals that Portia has written a fake financial agreement document that declares if one of her daughters has an heir with their husband, the fortunes from their cousin Jack will transfer to them. Of course, lawyer Walter Dundas is skeptical, providing a scene that preempts further problems — he suspects forgery, and why wouldn’t he?

I know this story is dragging on somewhat, but it’s an entertaining subplot all the same.

Kate and Anthony Bridgerton

Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 Explained - Penelope Decides She Wants a Husband…With Colin’s Help (2)

(L) Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (R) in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 (Credit – Netflix)

In the last season, Kathani ‘Kate’ Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton were perhaps the most frustrating couple in the series. I was absolutely seething at how long it took for this pair to come to terms with their attraction. The Season 3 opener confirms that the married couple are still enjoying each other as much as possible, so much so that they’ve tried to extend their honeymoon. Kate is due to be the viscountess of the Bridgerton estate, meaning Anthony’s mother is due to move out. But they are in no rush.

The New Baron of Kent

Will Mondrich may possibly be the luckiest man in period drama history, and Season 3, Episode 1 supports that. Walter Dundas visits Will and his wife, Alice, and informs them that Aunt Lady Kent has died and left everything to their son, Nicholas. Nicholas will be the next Baron of Kent, which means owning an estate and having a new home with maids and fortunes.

Penelope’s Quest for a Husband

Okay, and now for the juicy part of the Season 3 premiere. Penelope has a lot to contend with — a strange family dynamic and a broken friendship while being the secret Lady Whistledown. As Episode 1 opens, it’s pretty clear that Colin has had a glow-up, attracting plenty of women – he’s a new man! Meanwhile, Eloise and Penelope are still not friends, with Eloise opting for a new friendship with Cressida Cowper. Penelope is more isolated than ever.

But the character seems more resilient than ever, and she opts for a complete makeover, changing her style and dresses.

At the Lady Danbury Ball, Penelope enters, and everyone stares at her. You have to suspend your belief a little as she doesn’t look incredibly different, but she is aiming for beauty over a more colorful look. Even Colin is a little lost for words when he sees her.

Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 Explained - Penelope Decides She Wants a Husband…With Colin’s Help (3)

Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) tries a new look in Bridgerton Season 3 (Credit – Netflix)

Lord Debling flirts with Penelope, making her flustered as a man finally shows her interest. However, with Pen gaining all the attention, Cressida steps on her dress on purpose, causing it to rip. Eloise sees this happen, and Penelope, overcome with emotions, walks out crying.

Colin chases after her to check if she’s okay, but Penelope is understandably overcome with emotions, making Colin even more confused. He tells Pen that he misses her, but she raises how he has never courted her, and that, last Marriage Season, she overheard him saying to a group of men that he would never date her. I’m glad this issue was raised early on as it sets the basis for the rest of the season. Leaving that painful moment as the elephant in the room would not have worked.

Colin’s Offer

The day after the ball, Colin visits Penelope and apologizes for helping her. He reiterates that they are good friends and offers to help her get a husband by essentially training her. Penelope agrees. Considering the Bridgerton family is well renowned and respected, they all seem to find convoluted ways to approach the Marriage Market.

Lady Whistledown’s Return

Penelope cannot help herself. She absolutely loves being the gossip feed of the town. Lady Whistledown is back, stronger than ever in Season 3. As Episode 1 ends, the latest edition of Lady Whistledown’s telegram criticizes Colin Bridgerton, stating that he’s embraced a new personality, and there’s a question of whether he’s being real or not. Colin tells Eloise that he will never forgive Lady Whistledown and promises to ruin her life when he finds out her identity (which Eloise obviously knows).

Season 3, quite obviously, wants to throw as many spanners in the works as possible, but it still remains as consistently good as ever.

More: Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 Explained

Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 Explained - Penelope Decides She Wants a Husband…With Colin’s Help (4)

Article by Daniel Hart

Daniel is the co-founder of Ready Steady Cut and has served as Editor-in-Chief since 2017. Since then, Dan has been at the top of his game by ensuring that we only produce and upload content of exceptional quality and that we’re up to date with the latest additions to the streaming and entertainment world.

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Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1 Explained - Penelope Decides She Wants a Husband…With Colin’s Help (2024)


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